New York State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt and Assembly Republican Leader Will Barclay today sent a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey demanding answers and a full reinstatement in the matter of the Conservative Party of New York’s months-long suspension from their platform.
“Twitter needs to get a handle on why the Conservative Party’s handle has been removed. It is less than two months until Election Day, and we demand answers on why one of the world’s largest social media platforms decided to silence New York conservatives. Twitter must restore the Conservative Party’s account to maintain our constitutional right to free speech,” said Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt.
With close to 160,000 registered members, the Conservative Party of New York is one of the strongest and most active third parties in our entire state.
“The blatant political bias being exhibited by Twitter and its executives is absolutely inexcusable. Arbitrarily suspending the account of the New York Conservative Party – precisely at a time when connecting to voters is most important – violates the basic principles of free speech. This discriminatory suspension has gone on long enough and must be reversed immediately,” said Assembly Republican Leader Will Barclay.
Recent federal court decisions have held that the type of social media platform Twitter offers is the 21st Century equivalent of a public forum. Despite Twitter’s status as a private company, they are not insulated from abridging political free speech under the cover of perceived violations of user agreement protocols – especially so in the case of a major political party that represents thousands of New Yorkers so close to Election Day.
Twitter has come under fire for censoring conservative and Republican viewpoints on its platform. The Conservative Party of New York has been provided with no reason as to why Twitter revoked its account.
A copy of the letter can be viewed here.
UPDATE (09/12/2020): Following the release of Leader Ortt and Leader Barclay’s letter on September 10, 2020, Twitter reinstated the State Conservative Party’s account on the same day. The Conservative Party extends our gratitude to Leaders Ortt and Barclay for intervening in this matter.